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Depression help inspired former Bishop's Stortford student to run marathon

Amie Bruce
Amie Bruce

A former Bishop's Stortford High School student is getting ready for her first London Marathon to raise thousands of pounds for the mental health charity which supported her.

Two years ago, at the age of 18, Amie Bruce was diagnosed with depression and the team at Mind were on hand to offer her as much information as she needed.

“Initially, I didn’t really know that much about it, just how I was feeling,” Amie said. “But their website was really helpful, and it explained everything in a really user-friendly way.”

As well as offering guidance and care to anyone experiencing mental health issues, Mind campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

Speaking to the volunteers at Mind has also supported Amie. “They’ve helped me feel like I’m not alone,” she said.

Giving back to the charity that gave her advice and support has boosted the 20-year-old’s own wellbeing and self-esteem.

“I’m doing well at the moment, probably the best I’ve been in a long time, and I think that’s probably because of the training,” she explained.

Amie is in the middle of her preparation, regularly running half-marathon distances ready for the big day on Sunday, April 22. “It’s going well,” she said. “I’m following a training plan that I found on the Virgin Money London Marathon website. I’m on track and I’m actually doing better than I expected.”

To give her fundraising total a boost, Amie will be hosting a music event at Bury Lodge in Stansted on Saturday, February 3.

As she is studying politics and international relations at Nottingham Trent University, her proud parents, mum Karen – a student support worker at Birchwood High School in Parsonage Lane – and dad Antony, who live in Church Langley, are organising the money-spinner.

Karen said: “Amie is the most selfless person I have met. She just keeps on giving and never gives up.”

The evening, named Amie’s Fundraiser, will feature Karen’s pop and rock cover band, The Muggabees, a Stortford-based group with an extremely loyal local following. The group performs much-loved hits by a wide-range of artists, from The Clash to Katy Perry.

There will also be a disco, three other live bands, and a top-secret act. “People will have to donate more money if they want to see it,” Karen explained.

Staff and students at Amie’s former sixth form, TBSHS, have also volunteered to help that evening.

While Amie went to TBSHS, she was elected president of the Interact charity group - a youth division of the Rotary Club; that year, she led her team to raise more than £17,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation, a charity that grants ‘wishes’ to children who have life-threatening medical conditions.

The current Interact group will assist their predecessor during her fundraising evening in February. The school even went one step further in their support for Amie, by raising £1,000 for Mind during a non-school uniform day.

Simon Etheridge, Amie’s former mentor at TBSHS said: “Mental health awareness and fundraising is very important to our school as we try to nurture compassionate, emotionally intelligent and empathetic characters. Mental health continues to be an ever more important aspect in society for all generations.

“From 2015 to 2016, Amie was a brilliant and inspiring president of Interact, creating a wonderful team. The organisation of this fundraiser, and, of course, Amie’s running of the London Marathon in April 2018 for MIND, is characteristically outstanding.”

Amie is hoping to raise £2,000 for Mind, but on her online donation page alone, she’s already raked in more than £1,500. If you would like to sponsor her, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amie-bruce2

Amie’s Fundraiser will take place at Bury Lodge in Stansted on Saturday, February 3 from 7pm. Tickets are £15 and are available by emailing Karen: karenbruce65@hotmail.co.uk

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